Eugene to Bakersfield (actually Apple Valley)
I'm travel to Apple Valley, CA from Eugene, OR in April over two days and am wondering if I should cut east at Sacramento and take 99 (or is it 97) the rest of the way south. Is there more to see and more motel choices? Would it take much longer?
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
There's not a huge difference between I-5 and CA-99. I-5 goes along the west side of the Central Valley and is a bit faster, mostly because it doesn't really go through any significant sized towns. CA-99 on the other hand, goes along the east side, which takes you to pretty much all of the cities in the Central Valley, like Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield. If you're looking for hotel options, then CA-99 would be a better bet, although I'll point out that Sacramento/Stockton is about the halfway point as it is, so I'd think you'd probably want to stop around the point where they split.
The best place to cut across from I-5 to CA-99 is CA-4 at Stockton. My software says this is a day and a half drive so an overnight anywhere between Sacramento and Turlock would be appropriate.
If you prefer to take I-5 farther, you would cut across to CA-99 at Lost Hills on CA-46, but hotel choices are pretty slim once you get south of Stockton.